What a Wonderful time from November 2016 to November 2019
Please let me start this musings which started on November 12th 2016.
(It is true to say that it may/did start a few months before this in a small tavern somewhere!)
But on the 12th 5 Brethren of the Craft Internet Lodge 9659 were advanced into “The Mark Internet Lodge 1975” at the Lodges first regular meeting in a small masonic hall in Castleton (just of the M4 between Newport & Cardiff).
I should like to add I became the first joining member at the meeting.
The first five advances with the WM tmil1975 WBro Royston Morris PGStdB
Please keep this photo in your head or mind as it shows Brother Cristian Mihutoiu
and the WM WBro Royston Morris in the Castleton temple.
From that first meeting it was like a “Roller Coaster” the next meeting under dispensation was held in Bucharest, advancing 32 on the Wednesday and (just) 29 more on the Thursday, BUT first we have to experience Tuesday.
Leaving our hotel in a wonderful air conditioned coach and headed for rehearsal at the Temple in Club Del Vecchio, in Bucharest (only 20 mins away). Well rehearsal was fine with full AC!, when we managed our way around Monmouthshire workings!
I speak to soon as we were exiting the Temple for finger buffet lunch the room was plunged into darkness and getting warmer (30-40 and rising) as the AC was cut. We latter found that a digger had sliced through a local HT electricity cable, thankfully the driver and workers were fine if not shaken!
Shirt sleeve order with no AC!
Look this way!
The Lodge was ready for the afternoon candidates
So lunch and then a ceremony in shirt sleeve order with light from the windows, we were in a private park, so not overlooked, 30+ advances an experience not to miss. Festive board was taken in the private park with a wonderful BBQ!
Topping of the visit with a wonderful Grand Gala Dinner with the ladies
Wednesday seemed to be a “doddle” with power now fixed but opting for the outside BBQ
Wednesday Brethren and candidates “Relax”
The PGM (now PPGM) of Monmouthshire Derek Thomas & the GM (Craft) of Romania Radu Balanescu RELX in the gala dinner.
Well it was back to the UK for most of the members of 1975, and prepare for the next regular meeting in Blackwood, Monmouthshire and the installation of our new WM WBro Michael Herman.
Now wait its still November 2017 and another visit to Bucharest for more advancements into the order, power permitting!
It’s a two-day event again in the Temple in Club Del Vecchio again its 30+ candidates each day without BBQ festive board, well it is November!
What a wonderful event with new friendships struck up and old ones (not that old) rekindled.
And for the waistline no Grand Gala dinner!
Tuesday’s Event Wednesday’s Event
So we are home for Christmas and preparing for the next meeting, in March and this time is not just advancements but the consecration of the first Mark Lodge in Romania The Alexandru Valida-Voevod Lodge No 1988.
However, the European weather is try its hardest to put the dampers on the event with the “Beast from the East” raging in UK, I sat with others on the tarmac of BHX for 5+ hours before being told to disembark as we were going nowhere! I manage to get a taxi home as I live very close to Birmingham airport whilst other were coached to Warwick and Longbridge island Hotel.
Birmingham Airport Friday night (not a lot better Saturday!)
But the next day my wife (with difficulty) drove through the snow to drop me back at BHX, and we archived V1 and take off for OPT and Bucharest, sadly our airplane couldn’t arrive until the festive board was in full swing after tmil1975 meeting BUT were and the visitation and consecrating team from London were there in the afternoon.
The Brethren and officers of Alexandru Vaida-Voevod Lodge No 1988
So a different Hotel but the Temple prepared in the Ramada North.
Rehearsal conducted by the Grand Director of Ceremonies were practiced and perfected, making the ceremony a wonderful delight, as a brother seeing one consecration was an eye opener and GRAND, I didn’t expect the next 6!
The Consecrating Team
Topping the day off with a Grand Gala dinner and charity presentation to a local children’s orphanage didn’t leave to many dry eyes!
The Children from the orphanage who entertained at the dinner
Now a break BUT no June 2018 see the second Lodge Nicolae Titulescu No1991
consecrated, this time at HQ in 86 St. James with Brother Cristian Mihutoiu becoming the Worshipful Master. Fantastic, I can say no more.
The WM and consecrating team for Nicolae Titulescu Lodge No 1991
The Mark Internet Lodge now has its next regular meeting in Radlett, preparing for the next sojourn to Constanta (Black Sea resort) in October.
21 members of tmil1975 fly Wizz air from Luton to Constanta, on arrival late in the evening I am directed by the Wizz air dispatcher to put the party on airport bus 1, and to tell Romanians on the plane they must go to buses 2,3 & 4!
So with the 21 on the airport bus we went the distance of! No more that 250 meters!
The airport terminal entranced VIP was adorned with 2 pillars (I’ll go no further) a red carpet Union, Romanian, EU and NATO flags with refreshments for all. Passports were asked for and parted with (after questions from my wife!) cases identified but told to leave as they were packed into the coach, not all of us could fit into the coach so my wife and I were driven to the Hotel with the coach as escort. A welcome meal and rest.
The next day saw the consecrating team and their ladies given the same VIP treatment, with yesterday’s arrivals enjoying the out of season Constanta city, after first advancing brethren into tmil1975
So the ceremonies with tmil1975 advancing more candidates into the degree and a third consecration the Mihail Kogalniceanu Lodge No 1993. Thank you to all the consecrating Officers for a wonderful ceremony.
Members of the newly consecrated Lodge of Mihail Kogalniceanu Lodge No 1993
The Consecrating team
Grand Gala Dinner followed a short drive away to a wonderful setting overlooking the beach and the lapping waves of the Black Sea.
November 2018 see’s the installation of WBro Timothy Huckle in Chepstow under dispensation, with a box of new officers to fill their offices.
Now we thought 2018 was hectic, 2019 brings more journey’s to Romania, April to the city of Iasi in the East (Moldovia next street?).
Iasi a wonderful city if not a little damp with culture visits to palaces and meeting in the Palace of Culture. These meetings include advancing more candidates into tmil1975 and the Consecration of Eugeniu Carada Lodge No 2004. Not to mention someone’s birthday party David!
Happy Birthday Provincial Grand Master!
Eugeniu Carata Lodge No 2010
The Consecrating team enters
May to Timisora to the West again advancing brethren into tmil1975 and the consecration of The Traian Vuia Lodge No 2010. Timisora was the second city in the world to have electric street lighting.
The Advances and tmil1975
The Brethren of Traian Vuia Lodge No 2010
The consecrating team and Lodge members Traian Vuia Lodge No 2010
June see tmil1975 in Portland (not USA) Dorset for its regular meeting and only 1 brother to Advance Bro Haddon Sullivan, but with equal enjoyment from the members and their ladies for a much smaller Gala dinner.
Not to worry we are soon (July) either flying Wizz, Blue Air or even Ryan Air again this time to Sibiu again in the West for advancement’s and the consecration of Mihai Cristea Lodge No 2011 a beautiful colourful city.
The advances and tmil1975
Members of Mihai Cristea Lodge No 2011
The consecrating team
And so to the latest sojourn to Bucharest for advancements, consecration of a new (7th) Lodge and the consecration of the Grand Inspectorate of Mark Master Masons of Romania
From touch down at OPT to take off for BHX a fantastic weekend,
Started with the Installation of Bro Vasile Condoiu (NOW Worshipful Brother) and the Nicolae Titulescu Lodge No.1991 on the Thursday lunch time, conferring secrets of the chair to Bro’s Florin Carata & Adrian Dimitriu two of the most wonderfully hard-working Marked men from Bucharest.
Lunch was enjoyed and the afternoon free to meet and greet brethren arriving from all points west.
Members and guest all of The Nicolae Titulescu Lodge No 1991
The PPGM (Mons) Derek Thomas & the newly installed master WBro Vasile Condoiu
The PPGM (Mons) Derek Thomas & WBro Florin Carata & WBro Adrian Dimitriu
So an early start on Friday with the Lodges emergency meeting to advance more very keen masons from Bucharest into the Mark Internet Lodge No 1975. 36 advanced with the declared candidate “John” being conducted through the ceremony by visiting officers from the Province standing in for regular officers who sadly were unable to attend (You missed a GREAT weekend).
Advances and members of tmil1975
Following a snack and juice break it was quickly back into the Temple for rehearsal for the consecration of Romanian Mark Lodge Nicolae Balcescu Lodge No. 2015.
The consecrating team and members of Nicolae Balcescu Lodge No 2015
What a wonderful ceremony, at least the parts I was able to see, and I have no reason to expect that part performed within that above Brothers below the chair would be any different. So, ceremonies for the day over and photos taken it was relax? Never.
Then what an evening of great enjoyment in the Military restaurant in the Centre of Bucharest where even though over booked! What wonderful friendship formed and renewed?
Camera shutters were clicking away as we viewed and recorded the fantastic architecture and decorations of this wonderful building. Taxi’s back to the Hotel and then “Rest”!
Saturday and the BIG day for the Mark degree in Romania the consecration of the “Mark Inspectorate of Romania” and the first “Inspector” our very own WBro Cristian Mihutoiu . Rehearsals over and Photos taken so as to give a clean exit for our festive board. Working under the safe guiding hand of the Grand Director of Ceremonies RWBro Francis Charles Spencer (my PProv GM Worcestershire) and regular visitor to my Worcestershire Lodge, the parade of the Pro Grand Maser entered with other RWBros, and WBros, including our own Prov Grand Master RWBro David Powell as SwdB, RWBro Derek Thomas, RWBro Tom Quinn PGM London, RWBro Ryan A Williams Grand Sec, RWBro Mike Whelan PGM Dorset, WBro Brendon Williams, WBro Wynford Jones, WBro Richard Paisley, RWBro Radu Balanecu &
WBro Chris Malpus on the keyboard.
The consecrating team for the Grand Inspectorate
What a ceremony, what a privilege to have been there it was a wonderful event.
After the formation of the Grand Inspectorate with WBro Florin Carata and WBro Adrian Dimitriu now in their respective Offices we were further entertained and educated in a daily advancement into the degree by no less than the Grand Master Lodge of Instruction and the ceremony of Advancement.
The Grand Inspector VWBro Cristian Mihutoiu receives his patent from the MWBro Raymond J Smith
WBro Adrian Dimitriu & WBro Florin Carata
Then a super festive board after a slight hick-up with the elevator! The festive board and toast and speeches over it was time to relax change and prepare for a Grand Gala dinner with our ladies and friends.
During the dinner we were entertained by wonderful artists including the children of the orphanage who were presented with a charitable collection from the brethren matched by GLMMM Charities.
Then it was back to reality lazy Sunday to watch the TV but I’ll not go into The score!
What a Fantastic start for a lodge consecrated in 2016 and then assisting in consecrating 7 Lodges in its first three years along with the witness of a Grand Inspectorate.
Bring on 2020